It’s important to acknowledge a few basic facts of life: grilling is exciting, drunk people are almost always hungry and everybody thinks they’re a BBQ master.
For all the special sauces, spatula whirling and hot sauce machismo there are millions of “masters” who break the simplest and easiest rules on the path to well cooked meat.
Don’t be a novice. Always do your thing, but always grill smart. No matter your style, follow the 3 steps below to ensure your cookout is nothing but fulfilling and wildly delicious.
1) When it comes to grilling, patience is a virtue.
In the immortal words of Elvis Presley (a fellow who loved his BBQ) “wise men say, only fools rush in.”
Wait for your grill to get nice and hot. By putting your cut of choice on a cooking surface that just ain’t ready, you’ll accomplish very little. Why wait? Because otherwise you will burn the hell out of the exterior before getting the interior to an edible level (AKA not bleeding when you bite into it).
Friends, there’s a big difference between a seared steakhouse crust and a carbonated shell of meat surrounding frosty pink mush. If you don’t want steak tartare covered in scorched meat remains, don’t force it. If anything, those extra few minutes can be put to great use elsewhere… like fetching another bottle of red.
2) Stop poking that burger!
Don’t take this out of context, and stop prodding your meat. The more you mess around with a hamburger, steak or chicken thigh the more you’ll push out all the succulent juices inside. You know, the ones that make your meal flavorful and wonderful. Have faith in the cook times you set out to achieve, and leave it be. Try walking away and drinking wine instead, it also rules.
Always remember: Shake it once, that’s fine. Twice, okay. Three times, you’re playing with that meat.
3) Don’t just season the meat, season the grill.
Bestowing your steak, chicken or burger with some bold and craveworthy flavors is what seasoning is all about. Yet no matter how much we season, there will always be those peppercorns, glops of sauce and salt grains that get away. Whether they drip through the grates of death, get burned off or burned flavorless- your flavors are at risk.
Try not only seasoning the meat, but seasoning the grill itself. Depending on what flavors you’re looking for, slice an onion, lemon, garlic clove in half and rub it across the grates of your grill. This will help to split the difference between the flavors that fall into the flame and the flavors that make it to your plate.